KOLKATA: Indian tennis icon Leander paes on Friday he said that he is preparing a lot to participate in the next year Tokyo Games to make it a record for the eighth consecutive Olympic appearance.
On Christmas Day 2019, Paes had announced his motto ‘One Last Roar’, calling 2020 his last season as a professional gamer, culminating with the Tokyo Olympics.
“None of us imagined then that we would be hit by such a huge pandemic. It has made us all introspective …” Paes said at a promotional event.
But after this long break, I feel happy. I have no doubt that physically, mentally and emotionally I would be ready.
“It is very important to me to ensure that the name of India remains in the history books and that is why I have continued my career for 30 years.”
Paes would be 48 years old when the Tokyo Olympics are held, scheduled to start on July 23, but he said age is just a number and he is highly motivated to make sure the name of India stays forever in the books of records.
“I already have the record at seven and I am motivated that if I can take it to eight Olympics, I think India will forever remain in the history books as the largest number of Olympics ever played in tennis. Waiting for Tokyo, the event to come. happens “.
Paes, who won his first and only tennis Olympic medal in India at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, said he is working hard to win another medal.
“I’m working very hard. It’s not just about participation. You know me, if I go to the Olympics, I’m going to win and not just to add numbers,” he said.
“Age is just a number. The tennis ball does not know the age of a human being that hits it. He understands the power, the spin. What we do is important.”
Asked if i’d rather Divij Sharan or Rohan bopanna To partner in the Olympics, Paes said: “When it comes to the Olympics, regardless of which partner I play with, as long as India represents itself to get the world record for eighth appearance, I’m fine.”
Paes said to be Rohan, Divij or Ankita raina in mixed doubles he is fine with anyone.
“As I have done in the past, I have played with Mahesh, Rohan, Sania in the Olympics … Everything I have done is for the flag, for our community,” Paes said.
The 18 Majors winner further said he is aiming for another milestone to make it a century of Grand Slam appearances in the main draw.
Paes already holds a Davis Cup record for most doubles wins with 45 that he had achieved in Zagreb on March 7 this year.
Together with Bopanna, Paes beat Croatians Mate Pavic and Franko Skugor 6-3, 6-7 (9), 7-5 in the Davis Cup Qualifiers.
“I didn’t rest until I got all the world records, in the Davis Cup, the Olympics and now I’m embarking on finishing playing my 100 Grand slams“Said Paes, who is three away from the feat.
“I’m still waiting for the calendar to come out. The Australian Open has already been delayed. I still don’t know if it will happen or not …
“We hope that the vaccines will be distributed quickly so that we can all get back to our daily lives,” Paes concluded.